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Soundtrack Review

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Doom Patrol
Original Television Soundtrack
Season 1


Composers: Clint Mansell and Kevin Kiner
Label: WaterTower Music
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 14 September 2020

WaterTower Music releases the Original Television Soundtrack to Doom Patrol: Season One. The DC comic books characters are reimagined in a popular TV series. Robotman – aka Cliff Steele, Negative Man – aka Larry Trainor, Elasti-Woman – aka Rita Farr, Cyborg – aka Victor Stone, and Crazy Jane are perhaps the most bizarre group of superheroes ever. Horrible accidents gave them their abilities, but also left them scarred and disfigured. Consequently, they are seldom celebrated for the good they do. The group is led by mad scientist Niles Caulder – aka The Chief (played by Timothy Dalton). The soundtrack comes from two sought after composers: Award-winning, Golden Globe and Grammy-nominated film composer Clint Mansell (Black Swan, The Fountain), and multiple Emmy Nominee Kevin Kiner (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Narcos: Mexico). The score is available for download...

We begin with the 'Main Titles' which consist of a nice electronic Pop/Rock vibe. There is a heavy moderate beat and dragging sound, along with a trebly guitar. Sadly, it’s far too short. 'Aftermath in Cloverton' maintains the Electronica. A deep rumbling with slamming percussion and bubbling synthesiser. A very nice theme takes over. This should really be the main title music. It settles down to simple notes and cut-off sounds. It abruptly changes to an electronic African tribal-like beat with acoustic and electronic percussion. 'Robotman and His Daughter' has plaintive ringing piano sounds surrounded by weird noise. A basic electronic beat is introduced. Then an echoing multi-sound briefly makes an entrance before a whistling plays over a repeating mottled theme. 'Longing For Their Daughters' has keys sounding like dripping water washed over with a warm sound. Reverb plays a big part in this one, which is rather melancholy in its feel. Quite long and sleepy. 'Mr Nobody and Willoughby’'s thick synthesiser piece introduces a rumbling undertone. A moderate metal slamming surrounded by noises is overtaken by an eight-note piece, which changes just as quickly to a wood and clicking arrangement, and once again we’re in fantasy land territory. This becomes dark in atmosphere and somewhat spooky. A Vangelis clattering breaks-through and becomes low and ambiguous in its direction. It’s at times jaunty, and then heavy and oppressive.

For 'Vic and His Traumas' similar sounds are utilised. This time a repeating piano piece is hounded by a stomping beat, before toning-down to atmospherics with a throbbing pulse. 'Larry and His Spirit' is another plaintive melancholy sound with a slow, bell-like melody. All the while there is an encompassing fluttering. 'Rita and Her Troubles' incorporates a slow and heart-felt beginning, which emerges into a rumbling beat and back again. 'Jane and the Underground' has a fast-moving fluttering, scraping which belongs in a nightclub. There are a few diverse sounds inherent, before it returns to a wide film score sound and segues into a sort of alien music feel. 'Nile’s Tales' brings back the slamming Electronica, before becoming a wide and spacious landscape. It’s something that at times wouldn’t be out of place in a nature documentary or study of Shaolin Monks.

'The Bureau of Normalcy' has a bass rumbling and scraping take-off into full-blown Electronica, which reminds me of Pink Floyd’s 'On The Run', from The Dark Side of the Moon. There is a creepiness to this, as well as a science fiction quality. This is a strong piece, certainly the best since track 2. Most of 'Silas Knows the Truth' is low-key, but it bursts forth from the chrysalis like it means business right near the end. 'The First Doom Patrol' has a light, jaunty tune which becomes something significantly more sinister, before changing back again to a moderate light beat. 'Vermin Patrol' is a fairly long piece. Strangely, the opening sounds like the score to a silent horror movie. A fuller mechanical sound encroaches and the whole metamorphoses into an off-kilter melody. It then repeats the whole cycle with subtle differences. 'End Credits (Doom Patrol)' is like a dance music version of 'The Main Titles'. I would love to hear a much longer version of this, which would really end the soundtrack on a significant high.

I’m intrigued by the premise of this series, and will certainly give it a look at some stage. This soundtrack unquestionably holds-up on its own merit, because until I’ve watched the series I have no idea whether or not it suits the mood. I love the use of Electronica in film and TV scores, as it is extremely versatile and can be easily layered. This is an impressive collection of soundscape tracks, marred only by a couple of similarly slow, melancholy and overly-long suites.


Ty Power

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